Wednesday 17 October 2018

Arsene Wenger bristles at suggestions Arsenal's win at AC Milan kept him in his job

Arsene Wenger looks on during Thursday night’s match at the San Siro. Photo: Antonio Calanni/AP
Arsene Wenger looks on during Thursday night’s match at the San Siro. Photo: Antonio Calanni/AP
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger rejected suggestions that his side's 2-0 win against AC Milan in the Europa League kept him in his job, after his players ended a miserable four-game losing run with a fine win at the San Siro.

The Gunners travelled to Italy for the first leg of this Europa League last-16 tie on the back of a disastrous run of results that has piled the pressure on Wenger to step down from his enduring reign as Arsenal boss.

Yet Arsenal bounced back in the grand manner in Italy, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey scored in a much improved performance that inspired Wenger to reject claims that he needed the victory to fend off demands for him to quit.

"It was what we wanted," Wenger corrected a journalist, as he corrected a journalist who suggested it was a much needed win.

"At some stage you need to respond and respond together with a good performance, and that’s what we did tonight.

"In England we have a strange system. We have a cup final in the middle of the season. We played an opponent in a cup final on the Sunday and then the same opponent on the Thursday. It is like a boxing match, you get knocked down before you have time to get up again."

Wenger suggested his sides performance in Milan confirmed their team spirit is still strong, despite a trio of poor performances in back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and then in last Sunday's loss at Brighton.

"I feel (we still have it)," he added, referring to his side's will to win.

"That's what we want to show. That is in front of us and that's what we want to show, that we have the mental resources and qualities.

"In England we have a strange system. We have a (Carabao) Cup Final in the middle of the season. We played an opponent in a cup final on the Sunday and then the same opponent on the Thursday. It is like a boxing match, you get knocked down before you have time to get up again.

"We lost against a team who are dominating English football at the moment (Man City), and it was unexplainable.

"We have to accept that, it doesn't mean that the team has no spirit. We all have to show that until the end of the season."

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